No matter what business you find yourself representing, the public relations profession requires one essential tactic: connecting your client to editors and consumers through a well-crafted story. After all, the days of companies as corporate robots are over; what works these days is to provide opportunities for conversation and relationship-building and as PR professionals, it is in our nature to weave compelling, creative and customer-minded stories. The next time you are developing pitch angles, blog, social media or website content, consider the following compelling angles for your next great PR story:
In the beginning…
Steve Jobs never hid the fact that he started his world-changing brand in his parent’s garage and there is no reason to hide humble beginnings. If anything, a rags-to-riches tale makes a client’s story more compelling and relatable. In fashion, we sometimes forgo the bootstrapping reality for what we think is a more glamorous tale, bu anecdotes from the startup life can boost your brand story and capture editor attention.
Two of the most appreciated qualities in businesses today are honesty and consistency. When creating a story for your client, keep these two ideals in mind at all times.
We Care About…
If you are lucky enough to represent a company who is quite thoughtful about the way they do business, sing it from the rooftops! The Zappos creed to make customers the first and foremost priority acts as a guide through which examples of going above and beyond are uncovered, told and retold. Encourage your client to consider how they can rise above the competition with a story that is rooted in core values and discover what opportunities emerge from that foothold.
What does your target audience care about? Instead of focusing on a product story, consider aspects of the brand that appeal to the values, interests and lifestyle of your consumer. This might be through sharing a personal CEO story, making an internal customer service story external, or even broadening the business model to become a leader in a particular area. This could be the addition of a new initiative or platform, like TOMS Marketplace with products from 30 social entrepreneurs, or simply developing a content area that is a reflection of where brand and consumer’s interests meet, like the ModCloth blog’s focus on fashion, music, DIY and female literary heroines.
Although it’s sometimes tricky, one way to create a clear brand story is through a character or spokesperson for your brand. This figurehead should be someone with personality that the target audience can easily relate to or empathize with. Most often, the CEO becomes the the face of the brand (just think about how People’s Revolution is synonymous with Kelly Cutrone) but the right brand ambassador can add instant credibility or buzz about a brand (remember when Polaroid announced Lady Gaga as Creative Director?).
Another option is an inspiring or relatable employee as the central character for your ever-growing story. If you do choose to go this route, be sure you are able to commit to a certain amount of longevity with this person – it’s no good to announce your new fashion PR girl figurehead, only to have her hop over to the competition next month!
If you’re having trouble coming up with an engaging campaign idea, go back to the basics. There is a story behind every person and company — whether it’s a start-up or multi-million dollar brand. Determine what makes a company unique and special, and craft a story from there.
About Savannah Marie
A writer, lover of fashion and PR specialist for WebpageFX, Savannah Marie became obsessed with social trends and learning about how people consume media while studying public relations at Tulane University. She is always on the hunt to expose the latest trends in fashion and PR strategy. Connect with her on Twitter.